Michael Jemar McLean has been charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in the shooting of Tyler Lynn-Gainous.
I thought I knew him: he lived two apartments up from mine. He was one of the nicer neighbors to me. He was usually amiable and mild-mannered. Even when he appeared to be agitated, he would quietly keep it to himself. Therefore, I'm somewhat surprised that he would shoot someone in cold blood as charged.
On the other hand, I never knew of Mike having a steady job. He would talk of getting one, and doing things to improve himself (like his older brother did), but I never knew of him doing such.
I had a beer with him on Thursday evening, less than 24 hours before the murder. (Mike knew I normally keep beer in my refrigerator as a social inducement for neighbors.) He laughed at how fast I drank mine.
Another point: where did the gun come from? The standard Aden Park lease prohibits tenants from keeping firearms in their units. Simply having a gun at home would be grounds for eviction.
THE CHARGES (OR, WHAT YOU CAN LEARN VIA GOOGLE)
Second degree murder carries a penalty of anywhere between 5-40 years. It's the default charge in a case where the Commonwealth's Attorney doesn't have enough evidence to prove first degree or capital murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
Use of a firearm is a distinct charge in Virginia. Using a firearm in the commission of a felony carries an automatic 3 year penalty for first offense, 5 years for second offense.
For Tyler's family and friends reading in New Jersey, Virginia has jury sentencing. The jury not only determines guilt or innocence, but passes sentence if they convict. Our juries tend to be tougher than judges.
Usually there are small children outside playing on Jasper Court from after school until 7:30-8 in the evening.
They still haven't returned to their normal play patterns. We're not over this tragedy until parents believe it's safe to send their children outside.